From this day until Pentecost, our gospels come from the Book of Glory, the discourses of the Lord that St. John locates after the Last Supper. We begin as Jesus faces his coming betrayal and death as he dismisses his betrayer but then takes up his heart-to-heart farewell with the faithful ones. His words are overflow with the love he has for his own as his public life is reaching an end.
As you let his words come alive for you, be sure they were spoken for you and are spoken again as you read them. Jesus had all his future followers in mind and heart that night. He spoke to the eleven but mentions all those who will come to believe in him. Though you may not have been in the Upper Room, you were deeply in the heart and mind of the Lord Jesus.
We are celebrating the enduring triumph of Easter, and now we know that all that Jesus promised that night before he died has come to pass. He is "with us all days". Each gospel section of the Book of Glory gives us not only the words of Jesus but brings us into his presence and surrounds us with his love. This is the time to know him in his glory and strength, a glory and strength he shares with us now and promises to expand for us in all of eternity.
This is time to savor our union in his joy. He told us that no one could take that joy from us. Even in the midst of our nation’s financial crisis, Jesus is our surety of ultimate happiness. Do not be afraid to listen as did the Beloved Disciple.
Fr. Fred Sucher, C.P. is retired and lives in the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky. For many years he taught philosophy to Passionist seminarians.